Pair sought after power tool thefts - FOX Carolina 21

Pair sought after power tool thefts

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Joseph "Matt" Whitehead and Ronald "Chad" George. (Spartanburg Public Safety Dept.) Joseph "Matt" Whitehead and Ronald "Chad" George. (Spartanburg Public Safety Dept.)
A flyer posted on Classic ACE Hardware's front door looking for the men. (Feb. 26, 2013/FOX Carolina) A flyer posted on Classic ACE Hardware's front door looking for the men. (Feb. 26, 2013/FOX Carolina)

Police are looking for two men they said stole power tools from an Upstate Sears and were also involved in at least one other shoplifting incident.

Wednesday, Spartanburg Public Safety investigators identified 37-year-old Joseph "Matt" Whitehead and 38-year-old Ronald "Chad" George as the men seen in surveillance video from the Spartanburg Sears and at Classic ACE Hardware on Woodruff Road in Greenville. 

Employees at ACE contacted FOX Carolina after a story aired about the two accused shoplifters at a Spartanburg Sears. FOX Carolina had Spartanburg police look at the tape, and while they're still investigating, they said it appears the same men were involved in both incidents.

Investigators said in both cases the men were after high-dollar power tools, and there's not much of a process they put into sneaking them out. Police said they simply head into the store, grab the sets and bolt.

The Greenville Ace Hardware store said they were targeted Feb. 15, and the crime was so bold they've been on the lookout for the two thieves ever since, even naming them as their "most wanted" with photos on the front door.

"They're very brazen, they just basically come in and pretty much run out the door and do whatever they can to get out as fast as they can, and anticipate that you're not even going to have time to react or even know what they're doing," said Chris O'Brien, who works at the store.

According to police, the suspects in Spartanburg weren't worried about safety.

They said the Sears shoplifters were confronted by a loss prevention officer in the parking lot, and in their attempt to get away, dragged the man 20 feet on the pavement with their car. The employee wasn't injured.

At ACE, employees said they recognized that the men were stealing from them too late. They said the men were in the store less than a minute, and before they knew it the men peeled out of the parking lot with pricey power drills in tow.

"They had two each, they're about $150, so $600 worth of stuff," said O'Brien.  

Now ACE is taking extra measures to make sure it doesn't happen at their store again by locking up all valuable tools and warning other stores in the area of the men.  

Spartanburg police said both men are wanted on one shoplifting charge each in connection with the Sears theft.

If you know of Whitehead or George's whereabouts, you are urged to call Crime Stoppers at 1-888-CRIME SC.

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